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Private Sector Dialogue with Forum Economic Ministers emphasises action

Transformative reforms that will support access to non-traditional business finance and facilitate the rapid adoption of green economy business practices were called for by representatives of the Pacific Private Sector during their dialogue with Forum Economic Ministers last week. 

The dialogue is part of the annual Forum Economic Ministers Meeting and provides a platform for private sector representatives to engage policy makers and decision makers, and contribute to the formulation of regional policies that will support them.

The theme of the dialogue was aligned to Economic Ministers focus on “financing for development solutions.” In line with this theme, the private sector representatives considered alternative sources of development finance and called on the support of the Forum Economic Ministers for national reforms to foster non-traditional business finance mechanisms such as crowd-funding, social investors and angel financing.

Chair of the Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisation (PIPSO) and the Co-Chair of the Private Sector Dialogue Workshop, Mr Howard Politini commended the Forum Economic Ministers for providing a platform to engage and listen to the Private Sector. Mr Politini stressed the importance of implementation of the outcomes of the dialogue.

The need for improvements in the Forum Island Countries’ performance on the ease of doing business indicators, especially for the Micro and Small Enterprises, was highlighted. The Private Sector appreciated Forum Leaders’ call in 2016 for the improvement of the business enabling environment through harmonisation of business practices, and easing business mobility. One of their recommendations to Economic Ministers was for the establishment of “a working group” to advance work in this area.

This year saw the inclusion of New Caledonia in the Forum Private Sector Dialogue, led by Mr Baptiste Faure, the Secretary General of the CPME-NC, New Caledonian SMEs’ Confederation., “The New Caledonian Private Sector is keen to be more involved with the Pacific Islands Private Sector Community and Businesses, and is actively seeking opportunities for cooperation in support of regional integration”, Mr Faure said. “The depth and relevance of issues common to the Pacific private sector gets discussed at this Dialogue, and I look forward to more engagement with the Forum Member Countries at bilateral level, and through PIFS and PIPSO” Mr Faure added.

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